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The Structure of Change: A Structural Interpretation of the Biblical Story of Joseph

Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 5290002, Israel
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Religions 2020, 11(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11010008
Received: 29 October 2019 / Revised: 3 December 2019 / Accepted: 17 December 2019 / Published: 21 December 2019
In recent years, theories of structuralism in anthropology are being re-examined. This article uses structural analysis to create an anthropological interpretation of the Joseph story in the Bible and to evaluate its modes of interpretation and how it influences the formation of Jewish religious practices. The structural interpretation shows how stories serve as models for the process of cultural creation. In the case of Joseph’s story, the narrative creates a mythology but also a recurring operational infrastructure that echoes in different contexts: in ethical actions, in halachic perception, and in the foundation of various practices in Judaism including concealment and removal, covering and disrobing, that appear repeatedly and function as structures that signify and enable change. View Full-Text
Keywords: anthropology; structuralism; Judaism; the biblical Joseph; Scriptures; rituals; cultural change anthropology; structuralism; Judaism; the biblical Joseph; Scriptures; rituals; cultural change
MDPI and ACS Style

Cooper, S.; Guzmen-Carmeli, S. The Structure of Change: A Structural Interpretation of the Biblical Story of Joseph. Religions 2020, 11, 8.

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